Chrysler looking for winning pair

Chrysler Ypsilon
Chrysler Ypsilon

CHRYSLER launches a double bid for UK sales this month with two new models – Ypsilon and Delta.

These aren’t models you would normally associate with Chrysler but are more in line with those from its Itialian shareholder company Fiat who also own Lancia.

So, despite whatever names you find on parts under the bonnet, these cars mark the relaunch of Chrysler here.

I had a chance to sample the pair back to back and first impressions are more than favourable.

The Ypsilon is a new contender in the supermini market – a sector where it is up against fierce opposition.

It might look a bit quirky with its tall stance but I am sure the style will appeal to some.

At 384cm long and 167cm wide, the Ypsilon is smaller than most rivals – yet it has one of the largest luggage capacities in this segment.

It also has the advantage of being a five-door hatchback although the hidden rear door handles make it look like a three-door model.

The interior is smart enough with the main instruments sitting in a central display rather than in front of the driver.

There are three trim levels and two engine choices - 0.9-litre TwinAir turbo and 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre turbo diesel.

I sampled a 1.3 MultiJet SE which proved quite lively – but only after sitting in congested city traffic for some time.

That did allow me to discover that the Stop&Start system worked perfectly – it’s standard on all models and is claimed to save up to 15 per cent in fuel over the urban cycle.

The five-speed manual gearbox was smooth enough and this little 95bhp model was also pretty quiet at top speeds.

It produces excellent fuel economy figures, returning 60.1mpg urban, 88.3mpg extra urban and 74.3mpg combined.

The Ypsilon is the first supermini to offer an option of Magic Parking – it will detect if there is 40cm parking space at either end and do the parking for you – and the models come with a good standard spec.

Style

The test car cost £14,195 with prices ranging from £10,695 for the 1.2S to £15,695 for the 0.9 TwinAir Auto Limited.

I liked the style of the second new arrival – the Delta – which is a compact hatchback with a lot of interior space.

I spent some time sitting in the rear of a 1.6 MultiJet SR and can vouch for the roominess of this model.

The rear seat slides for maximum versatility – giving class-leading 1010mm leg room when in rear position and 930mm when fully forward. The back also reclines up to 25 degrees for extra comfort.

Luggage space is good at its 465 litres with rears seats in forward position and 380 litres when back. There is a handy small space under the boot floor and with seats folded down cargo space grows to 1190 litres on a flat floor.

There is a choice of four trim levels - S, SE, SR and Limited – and four engines - petrol 1.4-litre TurboJet and more powerful 140bhp 1.4-litre as well as two diesels, 1.6-litre and 2-litre MultiJet. All have six-speed manual gearboxes with semi-auto available on 1.6 SE.

The test car was quick enough off the mark with its 120bhp engine, going from standstill to 62mph in 10.7 seconds and was responsive right up through the gears.

It was also a quiet performer at maximum speeds and handled well while cornering.

Again, fuel economy is good with figures showing 48.7mpg urban, 70.6mpg extra urban and 60.1mpg combined.

There is a high standard spec on all trims with the entry-level S offering radio/CD with MP3 compatibility, front foglamps with cornering function, remote keyless entry, manual air-conditioning and power windows front and rear.

Jump up to top level Limited models and standard fit includes Blue&Me – Fiat’s handsfree Bluetooth system - sat navigation, headlamps with dusk sensors and luxury leather upholstery.

There is a wide choice in the Delta range with prices starting at £16,695 for the 1.4 T-Jet 120S and rising to £25,695 for the 2.0 M-Jet 165 Limited.